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Rayven
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Mon Jun 12, 2017 3:15 pm
Moon I also had some things to say that I think need to be said, but I don't want anyone to be mad at me. Plus they're my opinions/observations/perspective and may not be shared by everyone. Even constructive criticism is still criticism, and most people don't take it well. Myself included. The truth often hurts, but what I see as the truth isn't always what everyone else sees. However, if the alternative is losing Zan maybe they should be said. The fact that there's no guarantee that what I say will even help enough makes me more reluctant to say anything. I even toyed with the idea of PMing Queen Blaze so I wouldn't take a chance on hurting anyone else with what I say. Not that I would want to hurt Queen Blaze either. I don't ever want to hurt anyone. Bottom line, I just want Zan to do well, and quite frankly I'm worried with what I've been reading. I'm afraid the next thing posted will be a site closing announcement. Crying or Very sad
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Blazestorm
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Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:11 pm
Guys - there's no threats, no manipulations, no anything going on here other than my attempt to be honest and clear, and to make you aware that Zantarni is not currently thriving. My intention in telling you this is so that each of you can make an intelligent, informed decision - support a site that you seem to enjoy... or not... in which case, yes, you are risking it going away. We are not at that point yet, but we also can not continue with the way we are going either. This is a player-centric site... which means that it needs its players' support it for it to exist... and that means you - each of you... and you have decisions to make.

I'm telling you what needs to happen (we need to pay the bills each month), and I'm still trying to brainstorm and find other options for Zantarni (thus, "Absolute Zan Favorites", among other things), but the Staff and I can not do everything on our own, and we have been breaking our heads against the proverbial walls -for no pay or rewards other than seeing a site we love continue- for much longer than we ever should have been, and in many more ways than you are aware.

We have been trying to make this point repeatedly over the years to no avail - but the bottom line is that Zantarni needs you if the site is to survive and thrive.


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Last edited by Blazestorm on Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
Rayven
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Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:27 pm
Queen Blaze I can't speak for anyone else, but you misunderstood me. I was not accusing you of being manipulative. I was merely talking about ideas I had that I'm afraid to voice. I know you wouldn't be doing all of this unless you were in dire need. I do my best to support the site, and I do love Zan.
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Blazestorm
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Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:46 pm
Just voice them, Rayven...

... and yes, this entire conversation is breaking my heart, but again - you guys need to be aware and you need to make decisions going forward. As do I. But right now, I'm trying to involve you in the process because that is just the type of community we have here...

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Rayven
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Tue Jun 13, 2017 5:11 pm
I sent you a PM. I don't want any broken hearts here. This is our safe place. I might have to cry.
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WishingMoon
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Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:05 pm
Let's start with I've been here a long time and I've been on the internet for a long time.

Whatever plans for Zanny you have had for the site, Blaze, they are not working. Some of it is so far out of your hands but I hope you don't mind the criticism when I say some of it is.

I know one of the goals has been to rework the site behind the scenes parts. Tom made a mess of the code and has resulted in a lot of bugs and problems, it makes changes hard. You never had the means to do that, that felt clear to me from the beginning. I've been on forum sites that have changed their coding and have closed shortly after. It is not only a lot of work it is risky. Not to mention there is a time frame, I don't know how much it would have cost to pay for a coder but for the first 3 months of you being in charge that would have been the time to do some crowd funding. You won't get that opportunity now. There are not enough active people to make radical, but necessary changes. If you did miraculously make the changes, who is left to beta test it? All in all the time has passed, it won't be effective.

Now I'm going to tell you about a company you may or may not already know. It is called RoosterTeeth and they are one of the biggest production companies on the internet. They started 15ish years ago, making their own programming. They have grown to have 200 employees but the first 20 or so were fans. They had fans who would put hundreds of hours into their website, making things and posting them. They have some of the most dedicated fans I have ever seen, they put my 70k? posts to shame.

I told you all of that to tell you, THEIR FORUMS ARE SLOW. They have millions of subscribers and their forums are slow. It is a dying medium on the internet.

The internet's format has changed. The days of, "Hey you like DnD?" "Ya" "Let's talk about it," are over. Common interest communities still exist but they almost always are focused on around personalities. Videogame YouTubers and streamers are a great example. A person will watch a stream because they like that video game but they stay for the person.

Blaze, you are Zantarni's person. You have to be the personality that the forums revolve around but you aren't. That is THE criticism I have, you do great on the functionality side of things, but I really feel you fail on the personal side of things. Sometimes you just got to ask how someone's day has been or tell a story about what is going on in your life. You, the mods, are the examples, model the behavior you want to see.

The question is what to do with a dying medium? Adapt is the answer but how? I don't have a good answer. Social media is hard, it takes daily dedication, time, effort.

Your consistency in releasing items, putting on events, and providing updates is amazing. You have done so well here with what you have to work with. The problem I see is Zantarni exists in a bubble. Other than word of mouth and those who are consistently on the site what internet presence does this site have? What discoverable content is being made?

Going back to RoosterTeeth, they have always said you need a place of your own on the internet. Someplace that even when a social media platform dies you have a place to go to. That being said they are on almost everything. Twitter, Twitch, Youtube, Instagram, they make content where ever they can. This content is their business.

What is Zantarni's brand? What is it putting out into the world? It's an avi site, it has a middle age's theme, whatever else you want to say. How does this fit into the current internet and does it fit with the community itself?

How do you use this to make a sustainable spot?

Break the bubble.

I don't remember who our artist is, sorry, but they do digital art consistently and wonderfully. Their art is digital, get OBS (it's free), have them (if they are willing) record themselves drawing, edit the speed, and slap it on youtube under a Zantarni account. This will provide content for those already here and extend the content for those who may not be. It will also get you some ad money in a more agreeable way than advertising here.

Have a tumblr, you put out items and new banners every month. This is art as much as it is stuff to dress up in. Have a place that users can submit their avi art. Heck have a day of the week to post non-zanny submitted art.

Why doesn't Zantarni have a Patreon?

These threads you are making are getting responses. Make content, be a personal presence.

I hate this sort of thing but sometimes it may be nessisary. If I meant you disrespect, I wouldn't post this.

I also feel this is all being said far too late and would take so much more effort than anyone is willing to give but I should say it anyway. I'm saying it here because this is a bigger conversation than just one or two people.

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Blazestorm
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Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:19 pm
Thanks for the reply, Moon. You have some interesting thoughts and observations and I appreciate you sharing them Yes
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